CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Revista Iberoamericana de Cirugía de la Mano 2020; 48(01): 020-026
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1712091
Original Articles | Artículos Originales
Thieme Revinter Publicações Ltda Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Partially Healed Malaligned Distal Radius Fracture. Surgical Treatment in Patients older than 70 Years

Article in several languages: English | español
Marcos Cruz-Sánchez
1  Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology Service, Hospital Dos De Maig – Consorci Sanitari Integral, Barcelona, Spain
2  Traumaunit, Centro Médico Teknon, Barcelona, Spain
2  Traumaunit, Centro Médico Teknon, Barcelona, Spain
Cristóbal Martínez-Andrade
2  Traumaunit, Centro Médico Teknon, Barcelona, Spain
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

03 March 2020

13 March 2020

Publication Date:
29 May 2020 (online)


Introduction Management of distal radius fractures remains controversial despite their high frequency. Elderly patients specifically present a high rate of secondary displacement, sometimes requiring a complex reconstructive surgery. The surgical treatment of displaced fractures evolving for several weeks in elderly patients has not been clearly reflected in the literature. This study aims to show clinical and radiological outcomes from this particular situation.

Material and Methods Retrospective study of 31 cases of distal radius fractures with more than 2 weeks of evolution. Fractures were graded according to the Fernández's classification. Pre- and postoperative radiological studies were carried out to evaluate the degree of correction achieved. A clinical evaluation was performed using the Mayo Wrist Score. Data on arthroscopy and bone substitutes use, specific surgical tips and complications were also collected.

Results Thirty-one patients with a mean age of 76 years old were operated for distal radius fracture with a delay in surgical treatment of 22 days. The most frequent fracture pattern was Fernández type III (38.7%). The clinical outcome according to the Mayo Wrist Score was 81.94 points with no relationship to fracture pattern or arthroscopic assistance. A statistically significant improvement was achieved for the correction of radial inclination, joint gap and ulnar variance. No statistically significant improvement was achieved in volar tilt correction. Complications were observed in 12.9% of the cases.

Conclusions Delayed surgical treatment of distal radius fracture in elderly patients provides similar results to those observed in other age groups and time of evolution. Despite not being the ideal scenario for the surgeon, it should be considered to avoid functional deterioration in this fragile age group.